The Nigerian Military, politicians and members of the academia yesterday described the resurgence of military takeover of power in Africa as worrisome and a negative development for the continent.
They made the observations at a Roundtable on “Resurgence of Coup D’états in Africa: Implications for Regional Security, Political Stability and Good Governance”, organised by the National Defence College (NDC), in Abuja.
In separate presentations, they condemned the recent wave of military takeovers, in spite of the refusal of presidents to relinquish power and the preponderance of bad leadership which has created fertile grounds for coup d’etat.
The chairman, Senate Committee on Navy, Sen. Gbenga Daniel, said while democracy has its flaws as a system of government, it is adjudged the best form of governance globally.
Daniel said it was the responsibility of all citizens, irrespective of backgrounds and social affiliation, to protect democracy.
The former Ogun State governor said military incursions in governance was a direct consequence of dissidents in the system, adding that no coup can succeed without the actual support of the civilian population.
“So, as far as I’m concerned, therefore, part of the things we need to do is to ensure that we get our acts right within the civilian environment,” he said.
The commandant of Nigeria Defence College (NDC), Rear Adm. Olumuyiwa Olotu, said the recent coups in Gabon, Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso, were stark reminders of intricate complexities and daunting challenges that confront Africa in its bid and struggle for stable governance, lasting peace and stable democratic system.
The commandant who was represented by the deputy commandant/director of Studies, Maj-Gen. Lawrence Fejokwu, said the roundtable was to embark on a profound exploration of the multifaceted layers of implications arising from the coups.
He said coup d’etats were dark dots on Africa’s regional and continental security, political stability and democratic good governance.
He said the coup resurgence has the tendency to destabilise and create “dysfunctionality in our justice governance, political stability and material prosperity.”
He added “The challenges that lie before us are substantial, but they remain well within our capacity to surmount.
“It is in this regard that the college convened this roundtable of experts, with the task of proffering strategies capable of guiding Africa through the turbulent currents of coup d’états and their consequential aftermath,” he said.
Provost, Centre for Strategic Research and Studies, NDC, Prof. Adams Ahmed, said the seminar would bring issues that have socio-political, military, economic and diplomatic implications for the existence of Nigeria and its armed forces to the fore.
Ahmed said the roundtable was designed to address the resurgence of coups in Africa and provide various perspectives to help guide the armed forces, the nation and African Union (AU) appropriately.
He said bad governance, bad leadership, harsh economic situation and social disorientation, among other factors, had resulted in coups.
He however said it was unacceptable for the military to take over power in a democratic environment.
Ahmed commended President Bola Tinubu for his systematic and strategic engagement with the coup plotters, so far, in order to ensure peace in the region.
One of the resource persons, Dr Ndubuisi Nwokolo, while delivering a paper, said there was a tiny line between democratic governance and military rule in Africa. He added that most democratic experiences in Africa have exhibited military tendencies.
Nwokolo said most African states fail to deal with economic and security issues.